Price paid: £ 149.99
Purchased from: Gear4Music
Features: Black Knight is the newest re-brand of Gear4Music, which is interesting as Gear4Music is known for selling absolute rubbish as well as the occasional gem (you can see this in any Gear4Music review section). In short the Black Knight range is an "advanced beginners" bass, which in essence has taken a dip in prices of the last few years and kind of replaced the Gear4Music beginner range. Now I'm not going to bang on about the new Black Knight range but basically expect to find altered versions of popular shapes.
The version I had got was the CB-40 Gloss White, which has 24 frets and two closed pickups. The guitar is made of 3 different woods, the body being Agathis, the neck is Canadian Maple and a Rosewood fingerboard. The guitar also features 4 controls, which are NOT Tone1, Tone2, Volume1, Volume2 as one might expect. The controls are Volume, Balance, Bass & Treble, which is a shame as it lacks a true Tone control, but the Balance more then makes up for it. It comes stringed, but was only shipped out with the typical Alan keys as expect. A more expensive pack is also shipped which I believe is discounted which contains a spare string pack, strap, cable, gig bag, tuner and RedSub BP80. // 6
Sound: Being the bass noob I am, I use a cheap 35 watt bass amp and Zoom B1X effect processor. With the combination of the guitars 2-band EQ it has a large diversity just on default settings, as one would plug it in, it has a heavily distorted tone straight away. As you play with the settings on the guitar you can change that easily. I play such a range of music, the only time I find myself switching to my old Benson is occasionally when I'm covering dance tracks or requiring synth bass. The guitar is far too noisy for those genres, if I was to give the guitar a personality I would say its always trying to please and make up for itself, why? I find that sometimes with a slightly too hard a pluck of my finger and it makes the room vibrate unnecessarily in the middle of a soft alternative song. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: In all honesty, I cannot say much good here. This is the typical beginner bass syndrome. It is set up so badly usually that this section may as well not exist. However, with my previous experiences this isn't anywhere near as bad. Lets start with the negatives. It took me a day to fully sort out. Straight away out of the box it was clear that it wasn't cleaned. After 5 minutes with a cloth I cleaned it up and tuned it to standard to begin playing the tune I knew off by heart. During tuning I found that it was far too tight at standard. This was a combination from a badly set-up bridge and a terribly (and I mean terribly) set-up truss rod. I instantly got to the truss rod and bridge with the Alan keys. Well now to the positives.
In short, these should not be positives for any guitar, but in class of any beginner guitar I've seen these are strangely comforting. All and I mean all of the body had been painted correctly and no damage had been taken to the wood surprisingly. No visible permanent marks were to be seen. All in all virtually no flaws at all. This shouldn't be a positive but those who have owned guitars this price before know what I mean. // 2
Reliability & Durability: This section can be said with few words, but I need 500 characters so I'll have to blag it. This guitar is one of the most reliable guitars I've played, the only thing I would worry about is the sharpish head-stock which extends how tall the guitar is a lot and means it barely fits in most gig bags and I do worry it will break at that point. Everything else is basically solid. The neck seems a bit flimsy but in reality if your pushing the neck that hard your probably playing badly, I do not worry it will break at all. // 8
Overall Impression: This seems weird that I'd rate the guitar as high due to some of the rest of the review, but all in all it is a sexy bass. If it was stolen I would probably buy it when I could cos damn this guitar is a gem for the price. The sound is golden for the genres it works for, and just shines when and if it can. I wish it wasn't so damn sensitive at times, I wish it wasn't so noisy sometimes. The thing I wish for the most that I had the money for a professional to help properly set up the guitar, or that the guitar didn't suffer from the beginner guitar plague of "As long as it plays at some degree of quality, bad or good, it's fine." // 8